Basic Obedience Dog Training

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Here at Familypet Vet puppy pre-school we will teach you and your puppy to following basic commands:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Drop
  • Come

When teaching these commands, we try and get the puppies to know the action first, and then bring in the verbal command once they have mastered that action.


  1. Position yourself in front of your puppy, making sure he or she is facing you.
  2. Get the puppies’ attention by calling him or her and showing you have a treat.
  3. Hold the treat in your fingers and right in front of the puppies’ nose. Do not move your hand around otherwise the puppy will move, jump up, or on you.
  4. Raise your hand slowly upwards, keeping the treat in front of its nose and eyes and then over its head.
  5. Ideally, puppies’ nose will follow, head will go up, and bottom will go down.
  6. Reward straight away and give lots of praise!
  7. Once your puppy can do this well, start using the verbal command “sit” when the puppy sits down.
  8. Practise this every day, and get your puppy to sit for any kind of food or attention.

Dog Training


  1. Start by getting your puppy to sit.
  2. Hold a treat in front of your puppy’s nose and then lower your hand to the ground keeping your hand right in front of your puppy and between the legs/ paws.
  3. As you near the ground move the treat away from the puppy along the floor.
  4. The puppy should lower its body to the ground.
  5. Rewards within half a second and say drop.

** You may find your pup will want to lift their bottom/ or stand back up, while attempting to drop, if this happens just use your other hand to prevent them lifting their back end. Sometimes a bit of gentle pressure may be needed on their shoulders to get their front legs lying down.


  1. Get your puppy to sit. Position yourself right in front of your puppy.
  2. Hold a treat in front of your puppy’s nose without moving it.
  3. Start with moving with one foot only, stepping backwards once. Do this while keeping the treat right in front of your puppy so they don’t have a reason to move.
  4. Say stay and reward immediately.
  5. Repeat as above, gradually moving both feet, then eventually move further and further backwards.

** take this very slowly, moving a small distance every few days. Also when teaching stay, never call them to you, go back to them, and then reward.


  1. Always use a happy high pitched voice.
  2. Move away from your puppy, call their name and say come.
  3. Once they are at your feet reward immediately.

This is a good one to practise around meal time. Never punish for them coming, particularly after they have run off or not come straight away, otherwise your puppy will be too scared to come back to you.


This command is good for rewarding your puppy for calm “settled” behaviour. Have a treat handy, and when you notice your puppy sitting or lying quietly, say the word settle, and give your puppy a treat.

Over time, your puppy will the associate being calm and quiet with getting a treat, and in the future will help you to get them to settle down sooner when excited.

** When doing obedience training with your puppy, don’t go on for too long they will lose concentration quickly. 5-10 minutes is plenty. Pick a time that your puppy isn’t too lively, but not asleep either. If your attempting to do some training with your puppy and they are not paying attention, don’t force it, have a break, and try again in half an hour or so.

Pet Insurance: Does your pet need it?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017


puppy sleeping




  • How much do you love your pet?
  • Do you go out of your way to include their needs in your own grocery list?
  • Do you worry about whether they have eaten yet or not when you are out of town for business?
  • Do you miss them when you go abroad to travel and wish you could bring them with you?

If you go through all these then you are certified pet lover.

There is no denying how important their role is in your life, that’s why you also want to give them the best you could.

Are shelter, food and water every day enough?

What if they get sick?

Are you financially prepared to take care of all their medical needs?There is no Medicare for Pets!

24% of us claim on our car insurance
17% of us claim on house insurance
40% of us claim on our pet insurance
60%of us claim on our pet insurance for pets over the age of 10

You’d be surprised at how expensive it can get to see them through their health condition and unless you have saved enough, it would really be financially challenging for you. This is the very reason why it is only logical that you get yourself the Pet Insurance that they need. After all, like any other insurance policy, it is an investment but you are buying PEACE OF insurance

Pet Insurance policies are like buying your money in advance. You think about the ‘what ifs’ that could happen to your pet and you make sure that you have enough money to cover it through.

Studies conducted show that one pet out of every three need medical attention each year.

How sure are you that your pet isn’t the one out of the three?

Unless you can see the future, you can never really say. One day they are perfectly healthy and the next, they become so sick they worry you. To get this worry off your list, get pet insurance. That should take care of the problem.

Diabetes, skin allergies and accidents on the road can happen to you as much as it can happen to your pet. As more medical advancements are introduced at Familypet Vet we will make sure your pet will benifit from these changes in technology and treatment,understandibly that comes wiht an increase in cost.

IF cost is your limiting factor. It could be the only reason that will get you to stop and think about whether to provide further help to your pet or not. But if they are part of your family, then nothing should get in the way, right?

It is heart breaking to be in a situation where you have to choose between your finances and your pet. Nobody would want to be in that position.

For the fraction of the cost, you can get your pets insured and you worry-less of whatever may happen to them.

When choosing an Pet Insurance policy make sure you take out a life time policy at Familypet Vet we recommend PetPlan for that reason.

the cheaper insurance companies will only cover you for a year and then they exclude that condition.

When you bring in your new puppy to Familypet Vet at Mclaren Vale( close to Seaford) or Coromandel Valley ( Close to Blackwood) in the Adelaide hills.


The insurance will save you from feeling helpless in the event that your best friend would need any medical attention.




Your new puppies health

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017



Starting from a young age it is recommended you start an at home “health check”. Doing this is great for your puppy to get them to tolerate someone examining them, especially getting used to having paws touched (we find a lot of puppies/dogs have a fear of having the nails clipped and just generally held). It also helps us as veterinary practitioners to treat your puppy when needed. This can also be handy for yourself to notice when things aren’t quite right with your puppy/dog.

Child with Labrador retriever puppy/puppy health


  • Check their gum colour; the gums should be wet and pink. Also check teeth are clean and no build-up of tartar.
  • Check their ears that there are no smells or discharge, check they are not sore, or no thickening or redness.
  • Run your hands over their body checking for lumps and bumps.
  • For long haired dogs check in-between their toes for grass seeds.

Signs your puppy/dog may be unwell:

Vomiting                                                      Pain/yelping

Diarrhoea                                                    Shaking/tremors

Not eating or drinking                               Coughing

Stiffness/not wanting to move               Stiffness


It’s Puppy Pre-school Time

Friday, February 3rd, 2017
  • What is Puppy Pre-school?

It is a fun, four week course for yourself and your puppy that provides you with up to date information on how to give your puppy the best start at life. It encourages positive socialisation in a safe supervised environment.
Puppy Pre-school is your first step to responsible dog ownership.

The idea behind early training

Between 6-16 weeks of age, your puppy will undergo a crucial period of brain development for socialisation. The experiences he/she has during this time will affect later behaviour. Puppy Pre-school is a unique and safe place where your puppy can socialise with other young dogs and owners whilst developing positive relationships with staff and the Vet Clinic environment.   Dogs that attend Puppy Pre-school here tend to bound through our doors for years to come. They remember the building as a fun, safe environment rather than a scary one. Knowing your pet loves being at the clinic will put your mind at ease if your puppy is ever required to stay here for surgery or treatment.

What does the course cover?

Over the four weeks of puppy pre-school your experienced instructor will supply professional advice on numerous topics with plenty of time for group discussions and questions. Usually lots of funny stories are shared too!
Socialisation, toilet training, problem behaviours, nutrition, toys and enrichment, preventative health care, Desexing, pet insurance, doing a health exam at home and dealing with emergency situations are a few of the topics covered. Using positive re-enforcement, we also teach you how to train your puppy for the sit, drop and stay command.

We encourage all family members to come along to the classes to take advantage of the latest advice on successful puppy raising.
You will be supplied with a folder containing all the information on the topics discussed as well as free goodies throughout the course.
As an added bonus, the graduation certificate handed out at the end of the course can be used to obtain a discount on your puppy’s council registration as it’s registered as a form of training.

When, where and how much?

The classes are run for an hour in the evenings or Saturday lunchtime, one day a week for four consecutive weeks. The cost of the course is $80 per puppy, with discounts available for multiple puppy households.
Courses are held at regular intervals at both the Coromandel Valley and McLaren Vale clinics. Please contact the respective clinic for information on when their next class is starting.

puppy pre-school yorkie Sign me up!

 Mclaren Vale                     08 83238522

Coromandel Valley            08 83703500





Car Travel

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Dog safe for travelling in a car

Fear of travelling in the car is a common problem experienced by many puppies/ dogs. The motion of being in a car often causes the puppy to be sick, and sometimes being ill may the negative experience that causes a fear of travelling.

Take small steps to teaching the puppy travelling in the car can be a good experience by using treats and praise for when the puppy is relaxed. Start off in a stationary car, then moving on to a quick 5 minute trip and so on. Doing this is going to be important if you are wanting to take your puppy on road trips, or to have a good experience of going to vet or even just the beach. In your car travel you want to teach your puppy that when they are calm and relaxed they get praise and attention, when they are unsettled they get ignored.

To prevent sickness with car travel, try not feeding or letting your puppy have a drink about an hour, half an hour before travelling. Puppies tend to grow out of car sickness quickly, if you’re having continuous problems contact us for help.

A good restraint can also help with those with anxiety. More importantly for you and your puppy’s safety. Start getting your puppy used from a young age of a restraint, whether it is a travel crate or correctly fitted harness.Please contact our nurses

08 83703500 For Coromandel Valley ( near Blackwood)

08 83238522 For Mclaren Vale (near Seaford and Aldinga)

they will be very happy fitting your dog with a car harness that fits and helps your dog feeling safe and secure.

Puppy Training

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Dog Training BeagleLike humans dogs are very social creatures. In a wild state, they live as part of a pack that works as an effective hunting and puppy-rearing unit. Conflict is rare, and although much ritual posturing and communication goes on to ensure that all pack members understand the rules, pack living is harmonious.

Domestic dogs have evolved to be very different creatures from wild dogs or wolves. They live with us, in our homes, and in the process have monopolized our hearts, too. Yet under the surface of the cuddly exterior, some of the drives that keep a wild pack together remain. Dogs, like children, need boundaries and consistency.

They are unlikely to challenge rules that are always kept, but may become frustrated or confused if those rules are sometimes permitted to be broken. Dogs regard us as their “pack leaders” and it is sensible to start off in the way you intend to continue to ensure that your dog feels secure.

Dogs, do not denote rank structure or leadership by physical force or aggression. Instead, they use subtle signals that they recognize as indicators of rank. Many of these are very useful to us, and we can adapt them to the way we live to ensure that we communicate in a way the dog understands. Not all these social signals need to be enforced all the time, but many arc simply useful ways of ensuring that your dog maintains good manners.

Children and puppies can be best friends if basic ground rules about play and handling are established.

Canine social order is fairly basic. In simple terms, the higher your rank, the more rights and privileges you are afforded. By looking at these rights from the dog’s point of view, it is possible to see why some dogs learn to work the system and take advantage of their owners.

Give attention and lots of it when you decide, not when your dog does. Some dogs develop masterly strategies to ensure that their owner walks them, pets them, and feeds them when they choose, not the other way around. Ignoring attention-seeking can be quite difficult, particularly if you have a bright dog, but if you ever wonder why you can’t make a telephone call, why your visitors never seem to stay long, or why you can’t eat your meal in peace, maybe you should think about this.

Many people don’t mind if their dog sleeps on the bed or gets on the furniture, but think about this from the dog’s point of view. Being rewarded in this way day after day is wonderful, until the day a relative comes to stay or the dog’s paws are muddy. Suddenly it is not permitted to do these things and conflict can occur. If you are going to let your dog enjoy these home comforts, make ‘Sure you can move it with just one quiet command.

Toys are wonderful training tools but this works both ways. If you think that your dog is training you to throw the ball or play tug-o’-war whenever it asks, or if it walks off in the middle of a game to chew a toy alone, think about restructuring your games so you both benefit. Some dogs love to pit their strength against their owner when playing tug-o’-war. If yours is one of these, make sure you teach your dog to let go instantly with one quiet command.


Emergency Planning

Monday, November 14th, 2016

We recommend having a plan in place of where you are going to go and what you are going to do in case your pet needs emergency treatment, touch wood you will never have to use it.

  1. Have the vet clinics number handy, ideally on your mobile and on your home phone, or fridge( ask for our magnet when you are in the clinic or just ring us and we can send you one).
  2. Also have an after-hours vet clinics number close by, see below for our recommended vet.
  3. Always phone our clinic when you are heading down for an emergency. That will give the nurses some tie to get ready for your arrival and making sure the vet will be alerted so we are ready for your arrival. We have to make sure that if the vet is out on a housecall we can organise them too. Our nurses are the A team to deal with an emergency
  4. Organise a family member or friend to be a contact for you if your needing assistance with your pet, for example you have a large breed dog that may have collapsed.
  5. If your pet has been bitten by or eaten something, bring that item with you or write it down, in most cases it will help with correct and fast treatment.
  6. We sell small First Aid kits for pets so ask our nurses to put one of them aside for you for all the basic things you might need for any small cuts and bruises for your pet.

** If you phone our clinic after hours, you will get a recorded message giving you instructions with your emergency contact options, or we recommend calling the Adelaide Animal Emergency and Referral Centre on 83710333.

Common Dog Poisonings

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015


poison in dogs, seaford

  • Chocolate – especially dark chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Onions/Garlic – causes anaemia
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas – causes renal failure
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Highly fatty food e.g. pork/bacon
  • Mouldy foods
  • Artificial sweeteners e.g. what’s found in Extra Chewing Gum


lillies.poisonous plants

  • Stone fruit
  • Asparagus fern
  • Lilly’s
  • Oleander
  • Privet
  • Ivy
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Wisteria
  • Wandering dew

Pesticide Poisons

  • Snail baits
  • Rat baits
  • Fox bait
  • Ant and roach baits

Household Poisons

  • Compost
  • Blood and bone fertilizer
  • Aspirin/Paracetamol
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit Drugs

Animal & Insect Toxins

Familypet vet/dogandsnake

Dog and snake

  • Snake bite
  • Spider bites
  • Bull ants
  • Puffer/ toad fish

** If your pet has eaten any of the following items phone us immediately for first aid advice.

08 83238522 for Mclaren Vale (Close to Seaford)

08 83703500 for Coromandel Valley ( Close to Blackwood)


This is not a conclusive list, but is the most common substances our pets can encounter. If any doubt with any chemical or substance you can also seek advice from the poisons information helpline on 131126.

Local Dog Obedience Training

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Beachwood Dog School

Cox road, Aldinga

Tuesday and Saturday mornings


School for Dogs Aldinga Bay Inc

Symonds reserve, Stewart Ave, Aldinga Beach

Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings


graduated dog/ dog obedience school in Adelaide

Southern Districts Kennel and Obedience Club

Wilfred Taylor Reserve, Cnr States Road and Wheatsheaf Rd, Morphett Vale

Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings

Club rooms: 83251119 or Jean (president) 83847279

Noarlunga City Dog Obedience Club

Pimpala Primary School, Vanstone Ave, Morphett Vale

Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings


Dr Dog – Dennis Smith

Windamere kennels and cattery

8383 6116 or 0405126041

Aggression in puppies

Sunday, June 7th, 2015


Dogs and puppies can sometimes get very protective over their objects or food, and even their owners and territory, and this can lead to aggression.

To avoid aggression in puppies for objects and food, it is a great idea to condition your puppy to being touched and patted when eating or playing with a toy. Make dinner time a social time, by having someone sitting with the puppy, feeding it a few biscuits or even adding something to the bowl. If you’re confident your puppy is fine with this, get other family members and even visitors to do the same.

If your puppy growls or is protective of its food bowl, do not punish them, as this will only confirm you are a threat to them. If this occurs please speak to our trained staff regarding this issue.

*Note if you ever need to take food, or an object, away from your puppy for any reason, make sure you have something to exchange it for, as doing this without anything in return can cause future guarding or aggression.

Follow the advice for the correct socialisation and exposure for other kinds of aggression that you may experience. Remember reward your puppy when it is calm and relaxed in different situations, a lot of it is really just getting them to tolerate what’s happening around them.

For more help contact us

08 83238522 for Mclaren Vale ( ask for Lindsay or Kelly)

08 83703500 for Coromandel Valley ( ask for Michelle or Natasha)

Servicing the greater Adelaide area, we have two convenient locations: